Today, I am the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. It is one of the largest annual gatherings of music educators and music companies. If you are a music educator and have never been to this event, it is really worth the effort to get here at some point.
The string education sessions began this morning with a nice breakfast gathering that was sponsored by the Kjos Publishing Company. It was a really nice event and I had the opportunity to reconnect with many friends from around the country. I was particularly pleased to reconnect with Marvin Rabin, one of the true pioneers in the string ed field. He paved the way for so many of us that are making our careers in public school string education and at age 93, is really getting around well. I had the chance to thank him for the impact he has had on my career. For those of you that are familiar with some of my web-teaching, he planted the seeds for many of the concepts that I teach using finger patterns. (major scales and upper positions) My students at NCSSM can see these concepts put to use on the NCSSM Orchestra page. Those of you elsewhere in the world can see these soon on the D'Addario site: www.thelessonroom.com. I believe that they will be posted very soon.
I also had the opportunity to see Mark O'Connor present a session on his new O'Connor Violin Method. It is available exclusively through Shar Music. I think that he has hit on something really effective here and applaud his efforts to be innovative in the traditional world of string education. There were several performances by students that have studied with Mark in various capacities over the years and they were all fantastic. I am going to check this method out very closely and try it out with my own sons.
Tomorrow, I will be giving a session with Doris Gazda, Matt Turner, Sean O'Laughlin, and Larry Clark. This session is sponsored by Carl Fischer Music and, as always, D'Addario Strings is supporting me in this session. This session is called "Teaching the Nitty Gritty: Who Has Time for Anything More?" and will cover a variety of topics related to technique, literature and enrichment to traditional skills in the string classroom. I think that this will be a lively panel discussion and look forward to sharing this platform with my friends.
Meanwhile, I have just enjoyed a lunch in my room while jotting down this post. Time to head back over to the conference to get more new ideas! More later...